Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dancing Queen

Paige has taken Swimming Level I twice. She's yet to pass it because she refuses to put her face in the water. Nevertheless, she loves to go to class. (Mostly because the kids get to play on the slides at the end.)

Traci signed Paige up for her first dance class a few weeks ago. We thought she might like it, but even if she didn't, we figured it would be good to get her some exposure to different activities. Because she's such a worrier, I don't think Traci even told her about the class until they were in the car and on their way. Paige met the news with trepidation.

"How 'bout we go to swimming class instead."

"Oh come on," Traci said. "You'll like it."

And she did.

Paige has now completed her first five session course and already had her first dance recital.

Watching a bunch of five-year-old girls dance was certainly entertaining.

TEACHER: "When you do your roll, you all need to roll in the same direction or you'll roll over each other."

They certainly did.

I was a very proud dad when I saw Paige up on the stage doing her performance of "It's a Hard Knock Life." Unfortunately, I also realized I am not properly equipped to be a good stage dad. I need a video camera with a better zoom and I also need to get more aggressive and become that guy who brings a tripod and sets it up right in front of everyone.

Despite the poor quality, here's a little montage of the first session of dancing.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Review: Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean

Iron & Wine
Kiss Each Other Clean

If you fell asleep in 2002 to the whispery folk strumming of Iron & Wine’s “The Creek Drank the Cradle” and woke up to 2011’s “Kiss Each Other Clean,” it would be a very confusing morning. Sam Beam is no longer a solo artist, but rather the leader of his wildest musical dreams. “Clean” is the next step in the progression of grandeur he’s explored over his past few releases. The record pulls from an endless supply of instruments ranging from xylophones to Stevie Wonder-esque synthesizers. There are brief moments when too much is too much (the saxophone solo on “Me & Lazarus”), but overall, the added instrumentation makes a good thing better--“Monkeys Uptown” gets spookier; “Walking Far From Home” gets more poetic; and “Big Burned Hand” gets funkier (yes, Beam is now getting funky, though it’s not his strong suit). There’s no guessing where Iron & Wine will go next, but it’s sure to be an interesting ride.

For fans of: Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens    

Rating: 3.5 of 4
Check out this track: Monkeys Uptown

Friday, February 25, 2011

David Archuleta Fans Are Way Tougher than Eminem's

Remember when Eminem's fans hated me so much? (P.S. that article has now gathered more than 13,000 views.)  Well, that's nothing compared to the wrath I'm suffering from the hardcore David Archuleta fans.

A few days ago, I posted this quick little post about Archie being dropped from his label. I'm now expecting a full-on attack by an army of 13-year-old girls.

My favorite of all the comments was "If you look at David's Twitter account after midnight..." I was hoping the sentence was going to end there. My mind quickly filled in the blanks about what was going down at an after-hours Archie party.

Anyhoo, this is the last you'll see of me as I'm entering the music critic relocation program tomorrow.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mark My Words

When Traci isn't looking, I WILL be naming this kid Axl.

More from the Name Game

The Royal Tenenbaums was on TV last weekend. Not only may this be one of the best movies ever made, but it also comes with a bevy of great name ideas--Eli, Cash, Uzi, Ari, Henry, Sherman, Raleigh St. Clair, and of course, Royal. Traci refused all of these genius ideas. Especially Royal, a name which could be combined with another one of my top-favs, Ace. Royal Ace. Royal Ace Sutherland. It has a nice ring to it.

The Name Game (Cont'd)

In the list of -er ending names (from the oh-so-valuable Beyond Ava & Aiden: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby), there are such hits as:

ARCHER professional bowman
BRIDGER builder of bridges
DECKER roof maker
KIEFER barrel maker

and even

SPENCER a dispenser of provisions

Makes me feel like drug dealer. Maybe I missed my calling.

I used to take the kids to Petsmart when I needed to kill time. Apparently I should have been taking them to Lowes. Curtis thought the riding lawnmowers were the best thing ever.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Monster Madness

Curtis and I are patiently waiting for the mayhem to begin.

Friday, February 18, 2011

It Begins

I am taking Curtis to the monster truck show tomorrow. It will be the first for both the 3-year-old and the 30-year-old.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Best. Valentines. Ever.

I awoke this morning to a very enthusiastic Paige, frantically reminding that it was Valentine's Day. She couldn't wait to give me all SEVEN of the Valentine's cards she had made me. Sweetest girl in the world.

It almost killed her to wait for Curtis to wake up so she could give him his cards. When grumpy Curtis finally decided to open the cards, nearly an hour later, he was overjoyed with the card she had made him--surrounded by hand-drawn hearts on one side and monster trucks on the other.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hi, My Name Is

We're less than two months away from the arrival of Kid #3 and we're still not making any progress in the naming department. We've looked through all sorts of crappy name books, with no luck. I'm now taking matters into my own hands. I'm just going to pick one from The Hills cast list:

Spencer (hey, that's convenient)
Justin Bobby
Sleazy T (clearly my favorite)

If that doesn't work, we're going to have to go deeper in the back catalog, possibly all the way back to Season One of Laguna Beach. I can't wait for a Talan or Trey to burst forth out of Traci's loins.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

We are now the proud owners of our very own ballerina.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Monday Morning Playlist

Here's what I used to get through the Monday morning blues. Click to enlarge.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Return of Hunter

I thought things with Hunter were over. It's been month since Paige has made any reference to her little preschool boyfriend. But this is how it went down on the drive home the other day.

PAIGE [with huge dramatics]: Dad, I have some bad news.

ME: Oh, no. Bad news? What is it?

PAIGE: Hunter doesn't like learning.

ME: He doesn't like learning? How come?

PAIGE: He just wants to play with toys.

'Hmm,' I thought. 'Even at five-years-old, girls are attracted to the bad boy. And what's more bad that not liking learning?'

ME: Well, that's no good. Hunter should like learning, huh?

PAIGE: I think he'll like learning when he turns five.

And there's the next eternal truth--ladies are always trying to change a man.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

This Week's Music: Get Up Kids, Cake, Social D, Peter Wolf Crier

In case you were wondering, The Get Up Kids got back together. I haven't reviewed the new record yet (it's very different from anything they've done before), but here's my interview with the band. They're playing in Salt Lake this weekend.

Here are some records I have reviewed:

Social Distortion - Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes. If you like Social D, you'll like it. If you don't (or don't yet), I'm not really sure that you need start now.

Cake - Showroom of Compassion. I've been a fan of Cake for, what, 15 years now? As I look through the back catalog, there is a steady decline with each new album. This one goes at the bottom of the list. (Though I do love the track Long Time.)

Peter Wolf Crier - Inter-Be. The high-falsetto-ed indie sounds of the Midwest. I was listening to the CD in the front room and, all the way from the basement, Traci said, "I give that song an 11 on a 10 star scale of annoying-ness." I thought the song was pretty good.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Paddlin' the school canoe? Better believe that's a paddlin'

Sometimes you just need a little Simpsons to get you through the day. I started with this classic clip of Jasper Beardly teaching Lisa's class:

Which lead me to his best line:

Which made me think about Moleman:

Which ended like everything ends. With a football to the groin: